Health and Beauty Articles
Juicing: the perfect way to start your daySometimes, it takes me all my effort to try and be healthy. Monday to Friday (okay, Thursday) my body is a temple – the angel that resides on my right shoulder loves to be fed healthy, nutritious meals before taking part in some soul enhancing exercise like yoga; whereas the devil on my left knocks her off her pedestal and wants no vegetables, no exercise and a bottle of wine (or two) for the remainder of the week! But thankfully summer is around the corner and my resolve to be healthy is increased, because hiding behind a poncho in the heat is more than a little uncomfortable, and ever-so-slightly suspicious. But where do we start on the epic path to good health? The first thing I’m going to do is dust the cob-webs off my food processor and start getting my five-a-day through smoothies and juices; because this is one concept that works, much to my angel’s delight (I couldn’t resist...)
Not surprisingly, juicing started many moons ago, long before our man made carbohydrates and processed foods came to light and pushed this method to the back of the line for some time. Juicing dates back to biblical times, namely in the Genesis, as well as being credited in ancient India as being the answer to optimum health and energy. With focus on health and vitality so evident, juicing has managed to sneak its way back into the media with great result: you can’t walk through a shopping centre without being lured in by the juicing stations!
Why juicing?If I were to say to you to sit and munch your way through celery, cucumber, pineapple, spinach, lime, apples and avocado for breakfast, you’d tell me to take a flying leap and hand over the convenient cereal box, pronto. And if I handed you this blended together in a glass you would consider it, try it and think nice for a change, but no thanks. Fast forward a couple of hours and you would notice how satisfied, full and bursting with energy you were for the rest of the morning, and you’d be knocking on my door, demanding the recipe so you could have the same feeling of elation, day after day.
To put it simply, juicing is health in a glass. We’re told time after time to eat 5 fruits and/or vegetables everyday but in reality most of us get 3 out of 5, and some hardly eat any at all! Just one piece of fruit a day can help lower heart disease by 20%. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat, full of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
In addition to talking about ingesting these super foods into the body, it’s important to mention the foods that should be eliminated from the diet to reap the benefits from juicing. Refined sugar, refined fats, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, salt and nicotine clog our systems full of toxins, leaving us feeling lethargic, moody, negative and sometimes ill.
I remember watching a documentary a few years ago on a group of teenagers who went on a juicing retreat abroad, each with a different ailment. The ones that stuck in my mind were two girls; one had severe acne, and one had terrible problems with her periods. The retreat was based entirely on juicing, and after just ONE WEEK, these problems had completely cleared. It’s safe to say this was no coincidence!
Eliminating toxins from the body whilst fuelling your body with natural liquid nutrition will not only give you more energy, better skin and a sharper brain; it can help clear minor ailments that you may have, such as psoriasis, headaches, recurring colds, IBS, etc. In my research on this topic I was shocked to read of a woman who was cured of carpal tunnel syndrome by doing a juicing diet – there may be no end to the benefits of this type of diet!
I’m not saying to ditch everything in your cupboards and have only vegetable juice, but try having at least one homemade juice a day, ideally for breakfast, while ditching the junk out of your diet – in with the good, out with the bad! Always be prepared to feel not-so-fabulous after 3 days when you have eliminated toxins from your body, but pushing past this will let you experience the full benefit of your new way of eating.
Where to startFirst of all, if you haven’t already, invest in a juicer and food processor, it makes life far easier rather than testing how strong (or not) a hand blender is! I learnt this the hard way when I battled with a vegetable juice (the vegetables triumphed over the frazzled hand blender). Read up on all things Jason Vale (the juice guru) by visiting www.juicemaster.com, and I’d recommend to buy his 2005 book ‘turbo-charge your life in 14 days’ – it is a highly motivational read and will have you juicing in your sleep! Go and arm yourself with a few recipes that appeal to you, or recipes that have ingredients that may benefit your own personal health - a list of A-Z ailments and appropriate juices can be found in the ‘Juice Therapy’ section of the juice master website (i.e. avocado, watermelon & celery for psoriasis). Then grab a trolley at the supermarket and unleash yourself on the fruit and veg aisle!
Some of my recommended recipes:
Smoothie a la’ TerriIs it indulgent to name a smoothie after yourself? Not if you’ve invented it! This is one I’ve been making for years and it is packed full of antioxidants. If you’re like me and you don’t exactly love eating fruit as it is, then this is a great way to get 3 out of your 5 a day in one sitting.
- ½ banana chopped
- Handful of raspberries
- Handful of blueberries
- Handful of strawberries halved
- X1 Activia fat-free strawberry yoghurt
- X2 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
- X1 glass Tropicana orange juice
- Couple of icecubes
- Tsp honey
Put all ingredients into a food processor (try not to be sick at the unblended mess) and blitz until smooth! As its fruit that is being used you could get off with using a hand blender but the ice may not fair so well...
Turbo-charge smoothie (Jason Vale recipe)
This smoothie is heavily quoted in the turbo-charge 14 day diet, and for good reason! It is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and ‘good’ fats.
- ¼ cucumber
- 1 stick celery
- ½ small pineapple, peeled and chopped
- Handful of spinach leaves
- ¼ lime, peeled
- 4 Golden delicious apples, chopped,
- Flesh of ½ ripe avocado
- Small handful of ice
Juice the cucumber, celery, pineapple, spinach, lime and 3 ½ apples. Place the avocado and the remaining ½ apple in a blender, together with the juice mixture and ice. Blitz for about a minute and serve!
Better than a salad (taken from www.juicerecipes.com)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 medium spring onion
- Handful parsley
- ½ sweet red pepper
- 3 small tomatoes
Blitz together all ingredients in a food processor and serve for lunch – a brilliant recipe for improved skin and for acne (ironically red vegetables are recommended to reduce red flare ups!)
I’d definitely recommend trying the juices at the start of your day – if you start the day in a healthy way you’ll be more inclined to carry on and make healthy choices for lunch and dinner, and your motivation to exercise will be increased. Introducing juicing into your daily diet will help put you on the path to health, vitality and ultimately, happiness!
Happy juicing everyone!